Deputy Chair of the Enterprise Committee, Phil Flanagan MLA has reiterated Sinn Féin’s call for roads in the North to be exempt from the HGV Levy being imposed from today by the British Government.
Mr Flanagan said:
“The HGV Levy, imposed on us by the British Government, comes into effect today. It places an additional financial burden on hauliers based in the south of Ireland.
“However, the regulations required, which would allow the Driver and Vehicle Agency to issue fixed penalties has not been passed by the Assembly. As a result enforcement of the legislation rests with the PSNI. I am sure this is an additional responsibility the PSNI doesn’t need.
“Sinn Féin has resisted the introduction of this levy since its inception. We have raised serious concerns about the deeply negative impact that it would have on cross-border and island-wide trade, which currently accounts for £2.3 billion in economic activity per annum.
“This is just the latest regressive measure being imposed by a Westminster government on our economy.
“As with Air Passenger Duty, Fuel Duty and Corporation Tax this is just another revenue raising measure for the British Exchequer that gives no return or benefit to the economy of the North of Ireland – in fact they inhibit growth and investment.
“Sinn Féin will continue to actively oppose this ridiculous piece of legislation. Conor Murphy MP has recently engaged with Theresa Villiers and Ivan Lewis in Westminster on this issue and our party representatives in the Assembly have pressed the Environment Minister to seek an exemption for northern roads.
“We have today tabled a motion in Stormont calling for the Executive to exert maximum influence on the British government to ensure the entire road system of the north is made exempt from this levy.“We will continue to work to ensure that this levy is not imposed in the north of Ireland.”